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Old 11-11-2009, 12:24   #16
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So far mine was on my first trip on my "new" boat this spring. Was kind of a crappy day with 7-10' seas and 30 knot wind, but we had a school of dolphins swiming and playing in our wake and a couple of pilot whales jumping just off the beam. Of course just after this our furling line broke and things changed.

Other than that I am easy to please and consider any day when we go and back when no-one got hurt and nothing broke as a great day.

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Old 11-11-2009, 13:52   #17
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Sailing for the first time in the Florida Keys about 10 years ago in perfect weather and admiring how clean and beautiful the water is. Prior to that, I have sailed in the north-east only; the difference was quite dramatic.
Watching a green flash for the first time.

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Old 11-11-2009, 16:37   #18
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Many, and among them:

I started Early - Took my Dog -
And visited the Sea -
The Mermaids in the Basement
Came out to look at me:

6 days in calms and light winds off Darwin towards the Indian Ocean - when it became flat all the amazing small and big things living in the ocean came out to look at our ship and her human cargo.

Quote from Emily Dickinson's poem.
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Old 11-11-2009, 16:58   #19
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Sailing from Maui to Honolulu in a J24...hand steering alone all night, bored to death and hardly awake...just between Molokai and Lanai ,as the light just started to fill in so I could see both islands, two huge humpback whales launch out of the water about 100 feet in front of me, roll in perfect unison, totally out of the water and land splash directly in front of me......10 seconds later I was in the exact spot they sign of them again.....Speachless for hours...of course I was alone sooooooooo......!
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Old 11-11-2009, 18:03   #20
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For your friends and family who wonder why we do it, these stories give the answers.

"Speechless for hours..." Oh, yeah. We dig it.

Intentional Drifter

Observations are gold; hypotheses, silver; and conclusions, bronze.

Democracy is two wolves and a lamb voting on what to have for lunch. Liberty is a well-armed lamb contesting the vote.--Ben Franklin

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion, but not their own facts.--Daniel Patrick Moynihan
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Old 11-11-2009, 19:28   #21
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1986, late October..

20 miles of the coast of Cape Romain, SC., south bound for Charleston, 2300 hr.

We are under full main and a cruising “spinnaker” on my Sweden Yacht 41. We are headed SE (mostly) and the wind is from the N to NE at 20 to 25 knots true.

We are flying! We surf down the waves with white foam boiling up to deck level. Steering is a challenge, but with every wave we watch the log and scream out as the numbers climb.

On our VHF we hear, in that soft Louisiana tugboat drawl “ Sailboat at Cape Romain, this is the tow with 2 barges, I’ll pass you on your port side about 2 miles off.”

Roger that, we said.

2 hours later we hear the same voice on the VHF - “How fast is that damn sailboat going?”

Good times.

Today I own a DeFever trawler. Time snuck up on me. I’m still on the water though, and still cruising.

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Old 14-11-2009, 17:03   #22
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The big problem with peak moments, at least for me, is that the description is always lacking. But on the other hand, I can't let an opportunity to tell a sea story sail by

I was 19 years old standing (or trying to) in the cockpit of a 37 foot sailboat in the Atlantic, in 70 plus knots with sea to match. As corny as it sounds...I felt so small yet so much alive. I could feel the blood pumping in my veins. I was totally in the present, in the moment. I didn't want to close my eyes and miss a second, I figured if I was going to die I better enjoy the view. The funniest part- funny weird not funny ha ha, anyways the funniest part is that the sky was a clear deep blue while the ocean was a pitch black angry mess. So many fascinating details in a storm like that. The rigging screamed, and screamed and screamed, it didn't stop to take a breath for 13 hours. My body felt like it went ten rounds with the Great Ali. Even wedged into the footwell of the helm station my muscles were so tired from the movement. Looking out to the sea, it was so powerful and frighteningly beautiful. In all my ideas of a storm at sea, for this was my first time in the Atlantic, I had never imagined it would have a beautiful blue sky. Aint that just like God to throw that curve ball in

PS: your stories make me smile, and I needed a smile this week- thanks.
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Old 14-11-2009, 19:09   #23
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To me there is nothing to compare with that moment on every voyage when you have cleared the harbor, set the sails, and shut down the engine.....
The reletive quiet as the boat finds it's soul and starts to move in harmony with the waves.

This to me is the most magical thing in the whole world. My inanimate vessel becomes a living breathing companion to my travels.
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Old 14-11-2009, 19:19   #24
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The big problem with peak moments, at least for me, is that the description is always lacking.
I think that definition works well for me too. Peak means more than expected or fitting description. To me some have been sailing in extreme conditions but others were at anchor in sunset or sunrise.

It's anytime the situation seems to be giving back a whole lot more than was in the brochure. It helps to look for them because they don't tend to be based on an advanced reservation. It's all the times when it was mostly about being present to win. If you thnk you ever had one - you probably did. It also means you could have another one. These are the moments sailors seek.
Paul Blais
s/v Bright Eyes Gozzard 36
37 15.7 N 76 28.9 W
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Old 15-11-2009, 01:02   #25
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Originally Posted by Ocean Girl View Post
I was 19 years old standing (or trying to) in the cockpit of a 37 foot sailboat in the Atlantic, in 70 plus knots with sea to match. As corny as it sounds...I felt so small yet so much alive.
Without doubt, those moments that are lived through times when your life is in danger are when you feel most alive, appreciating every breath and event with renewed wonder.

A fact known by any serviceman who has been in harm's way!
"Be wary of strong drink. It can make you shoot at tax collectors - and miss."
Robert A Heinlein
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Old 15-11-2009, 01:25   #26
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Peak moments seem hard to define or remember.. there have been lots...

Becalmed 200 meters from the end of a long offshore race ending in Sydney Harbour. It was about 4 am and totally still. City lights. Harbour like a mirror. Finish just meters away. A LION roars! Then a Tiger! The zoo is close and as the animals wake up they all start to roar! Surreal!

On watch by myself about midnight in the Mediterranean about 10 years ago. Turned off the nav lights to watch the phospheresance. All of a sudden a BLUE TORPEDO streak into the side of the boat.
Totally freaked me out. It was a dolphin.
Then lots of them shooting along, only the blue visible not their bodies at all

Gotta love the sea
Notes on a Circumnavigation.

Somalia Pirates and our Convoy
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Old 15-11-2009, 08:33   #27
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Although not a “cruising” moment it was the first time I can remember time slowing to the point of standing still and it happened while sailing. I was around 13 and crewing for my brother on his 505. He was getting ready to start collage and was saving all his money for that and couldn’t afford some of the needed repairs on the used Parker he had acquired the year before. But it was a thing of beauty compared to the last one, with a gorgeous varnished foredeck and even a chute launcher that the old one didn’t have. The old one forced me to try and beat the raise and douse time by hand what the others were doing with the launcher as my brother would always try and carry the chute to the last second to gain any advantage. I probably loved that new (old) boat more than he did just for that launcher.
We were on the reaching leg of a standard triangular course. The wind was blowing about 20 gusting 25. The chute was up and the pole was occasionally straining at the forestay as the spinnaker sheet stretched and the pole would bend off to leeward when the gusts would buffet us. The pole had started out aft a bit but as we accelerated we adjusted it forward to compensate for the apparent wind moving forward. The roller furled wasn’t working due to fund shortages and, as it had jammed, the jib was up as well. Suffice it to say we were over powered with me, at about 110 lbs, hanging off the trapeze. The boat was screaming on a wild plane with only the last few feet in the water at any time. I had moved back as far as I could hooked into the lower ring of the harness with one foot hooked behind my brother and the other if front of him. I was giving him advice on when the gusts were going to hit by looking aft for the ripples on the water to change so he would be ready to compensate. His glass were covered with crusted salt and spray, so he was a bit blind to see these changes, and was concentrating on the boats ahead anyway. Sadly, it seemed, we always had boats ahead, even on the new/old boat, but not as many as before.
I had just turned my head back to view the luff of the spinnaker and make any adjustments after notifying him of a gust coming when the boat crested an abnormally high wave. I felt the boat rise and suddenly accelerate while giving a strange sideways lurch, like a wave slapping the side of the boat at the same time. I glanced down and could see that we were no longer putting out great sprays of water to leeward as we had been. And then…… time slowed down…. to individual frames of slow motion photography. I was no longer standing on the rail of the boat but flying weightlessly forward and I felt a slight burning sensation in my right hand as the spinnaker sheet raced from my grip. I watched as the port shroud flicked through my line of sight but is was off to my left because I was slowly spinning clockwise getting a view of the stern, the boats to windward and finally the forestay came into view and I reached out with both hand and grabbed it and became this peculiar two legged windsock streaming from the front of the boat. All the time I had been slowly pirouetting on the wire attached to the harness I could feel the air escaping from my lungs, rushing from my mouth forming some sound I had never made before. I was dropping the “F” bomb. As it was rushing from me, I could not recall ever even hearing the “F” word prior to its escape from my lips but I concentrated on where I had heard it for the longest time. While doing my best impression of the aforementioned windsock I was quite amused to see my brother hanging by one foot from the hiking straps with his head about to touch the water and the stern of the boat pointed up 60 degrees to the horizon the hiking stick out of his hand doing a graceful arc on its attach point. A great round column of water sprayed from the chute launcher sock beside the centerboard trunk like a fire hose as the water raced and compressed itself from the large opening on the foredeck to the 3 inch diameter sailcloth material it terminates in.
The next thing that happened is the entire world turned a liquid blue. The sky, the water, the boat all vague shapes in a vivid blue color. Fortunately the liquidly blue cut off the ending of the newly discovered addition to my vocabulary and I suddenly found myself back to real time trying to find my way out of that spinnaker I was wrapped in back to the surface where I could replenish the air so foully spent on my trip forward.
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Old 15-11-2009, 09:23   #28
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I won't be able to do this justice so once you have read this (second part particularly) please close you eyes and let your imagination fix what I could not communicate.

Leaving Hessel, Michigan (Lake Heron) in late August, 2007, bringing my new boat back to Kingston Ontario.

Left in a Storm as this was not a pleasure trip and time was an issue (Captain said it was Okay). I had hired a Transport Captain/Instructor as the sum of my experience was 1 1/2 hours on a sail boat to that point. (Side note: I had to learn how to sail by the time we got the boat back to Kingston). We had 6 to 8 foot following seas and wind was from aft at 20 to 25 knots. Trying to get some sleep in the Vberth (shows how much I knew) I was leaving the mattress on a continuous basis (once even hit the under side of the deck). I'm sure my hired Captain got BIG laughs when he found out where I was going to sleep. He didn't say a thing!
Anyway, hearing and feeling the water and waves hit the bow and how solid the boat felt left me feeling comfortable and safe (ignorance is bliss) which was absolutely great considering I didn't know what to expect (for sure) from the boat OR myself.
I even slept!

A story that is likely more in keeping with what the OP had in mind.

Heading East across Lake Ontario (same trip), just came on shift with another crew member (8 or 10 pm, can't remember).

It was incredibly clear and there was no land in sight, no light pollution, only the stars. Some time later I noticed a Fiery Red Explosion on the horizon straight East of us. We were headed straight for it! I did not hear anything but knew this was BIG! I did not think there was any Nuclear power plant at that end of the lake and so didn't know what could have possible caused this, a bomb perhaps or a factory fire? The silhouette of the fire had no defined shape and changed however slowly and looked to cover quite a wide area. I had no clue, but knew it was serious. I listened intently to the VHF Radio but no sound came. There was nothing to do but wait. As time when by I noticed that the Fiery Bright Red was starting to fade. I didn't know what this meant. A bit more time passed and the random shape had developed definition. It now looked to take on an arch sort of shape and was loosing more of its color. It was only at this point that what had confused me so, became apparent. It was the moon rising! It was bazaar that it's shape was random at first (like a mirage I suppose). It continued to rise and develop to a full circle. As it did, the color changed for the initial fiery red to red, to different shades of pink and then one of the brightest whites that I have seen a full moon. For many hours after that we sailed directly towards it. This was like driving down a well lit road.
We were sailing,.............. On a moon beam! ............. Pure Magic!

It was also that night that a previous thought came back to me. I had wondered prior to buying the boat how I would feel with no land in sight and in very deep water. At one point while sailing on our Moon Beam, I looked down to see that we were in 600 feet of water and that previous thought/question came back to me.
I was just FINE! Life was Good!

To all the wonderful, spontaneous, pleasantly surprising and for me, affirming moments .

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Old 15-11-2009, 12:19   #29
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a pic is worth a thousand words--all experiences on the sea sailing fit the description---here are a couple----

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Old 15-11-2009, 13:54   #30
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first time going "foreign" a short hop across the Dover Straits to France

surviving the Alderney Race in F6/7 on my 8 metre RIB

any number of sunrises /sunsets crossing the Atlantic

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